Book: The Giver of Stars
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Pages: 442 (Kindle)
Published: Oct 2019 (UK)
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to them—and to the men they love—becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job—bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.
(From Goodreads - Link)
When I first heard about this book, I knew that I had to buy it! A group of women trekking on horses, delivering books around Kentucky to those who have so little, defying expectations and fighting against society's disapproval - yes please! A novel with a strong focus on friendship, empowerment, loyalty while also highlighting racism and sexism within 1930s America. What's not to love?
Continuing from the synopsis above, Alice soon learns that her husband (and his father) aren't quite providing her with the life she imagined. Despite the luxurious living, clothing and food that the Van Cleve's offer, Alice discovers that she prefers Margery's way of living - waking early in the morning to jump onto her horse, grab herself a bag of books and head off to begin deliveries to those in need. However, the Van Cleve's aren't going to allow her to give up on her previous life that easily... Meanwhile, Margery O'Hare finds herself in a little trouble after a disagreement with Clem McCullough - as an old family feud takes a turn for the worse.
I'm a huge fan of Jojo Moyes, ever since reading her 'Me Before You' series - I was hooked! So when I heard about this standalone novel, I was desperate to grab a copy of my own. I absolutely love "Journey" books, and by that I mean books where the character or characters go on a movement or journey of sorts, travelling across deserts, countries or oceans (There's probably a name for this "type" of book, but I don't know it! *facepalm*) And this book fits in perfectly with that! Moyes description of the women's experiences and surroundings during their individual treks was wonderful and imaginative, it was the perfect book to get absorbed into their journeys across the different terrains.
I enjoyed each of the different character's personalities and their loyalty towards one another. However, there's something about this book that was missing... I can't put my finger on it but I just didn't completely connect with it. I was never overly eager to continue reading this book. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, only that I'm not interested in reading it again any time soon.
Because of this, I give this book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. As despite it being an interesting read (and the fact that it's inspired by a true story makes it more so!), I just didn't find it as engaging as I hoped it would be. Who knows - you may enjoy it more than me! Have you read Moyes 'The Giver of Stars'? What did you think of it? Comment down below - the sign up is quick and easy.
TRIGGER WARNING: This book does contain descriptions of dead animals.